Getting Lost in the Mississippi Delta - Tutwiler, MS
Several times a year I pack up my camera gear, grab a few snacks for the road and head out to the Mississippi Delta. The Delta is conflicted and is best summed up in this quote I found on the bathroom wall of Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi: "The Mississippi Delta, where cotton is king, corn liquor is queen. Every night is Saturday night and every day is payday. Two vacations a year, six months a piece. The richest land, the poorest people."
Every time I am in the Delta I usually try to go somewhere I haven't been, as well as go back to those places I have photographed before in hopes of "seeing" a better image of having better light or any rnumber of other reasons. Sometimes I am drawn to a particular place for some unknown reason. Tutwiler, Mississippi is one of those places.
Tutwiler, Mississippi has something intriguing which is a direct connection to Florence, Alabama and in a rather interesting sort of way. W.C. Handy was born in Florence but traveled Mississippi in the very early 1900s and even led an all African-American band in Clarksdale, MS. While waiting on a train at the depot in Tutwiler in 1903, he is credited as discovering that genre of music known as "The Blues."
Tutwiler is one of those conflicted places in the Delta. Surrounded by history, its downtown today only exists in a menagerie of once majestic buildings, most that would be condemned in any other place in America. Here are a few images of Tutwiler, including part of a mural on a side street. I will post more in another blog post sometime later including some of my gallery images from Tutwiler.
You can click the images to see them larger or mouse-over to read the caption.
Mural in Tutwiler, MississippiThis is part of a mural that spans a side street in Tutwiler. The mural is on several walls and tells the history of the discovery of the blues. Blues History, Tutwiler, MSA very short history of how W.C. Handy discovered "The Blues" while waiting on a train. House in Tutwiler, MississippiOne of many deteriorating houses in Tutwiler. Blue House in Tutwiler, Mississippione of many abandoned structures in an area that was once a booming section of town.
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